When people think of the “black market”, activities such as drug dealing, prostitution, and trafficking of stolen goods come to mind. Or, in the case of Italy, it can even be a legit way to boost your national GDP. Well, I am here to challenge those thoughts, and to impart some street knowledge on my humble readers. Technically, a black market is simply an underground economy, where transactions are made in cash or by bartering items, and that is not taxed. With the level of unemployment in the United States (and worldwide), it can be hard to make a decent living, let alone finding enough money to “get by”. Here are some ways to make some quick, legal black market money:
1. Craigslist is your best friend.
Have a smartphone? Of course you do. Go to http://www.craigslist.org, and bookmark it with a quickness. Now, there are three main ways to make quick money on Craigslist. The quickest way is through the “gigs” section, where people advertise for one-time (occasionally for more) jobs. Sure, a lot of it might be manual labor for $10 an hour, but that’s gonna be $10 cash usually, which isn’t so bad when Uncle Sam and his state cohorts aren’t sticking their greedy hands into your hard-earned pay. There are usually a wide variety of gigs, from actual musician gigs to coding websites to construction trades work.
The second way is to advertise a “service”. This is basically the reverse of the gigs section: you advertise what job you can do or skill that you have, and wait for people to respond. I have used this to advertise for writing and editing jobs, and have made hundreds in cash money and PayPal money in the past couple years doing it (usually for rich college students with lots of deadlines and no time). And that is just me barely applying myself, someone with multiple skills and the time to do many jobs could potentially make a LOT of black market money doing this.
And the third way: It’s just like a pawn shop, except slightly less sketchy, and more profitable. Yep, this is the “for sale” section. Go ahead and post that PlayStation 3 collecting dust by the PS4, or sell that guitar that doesn’t get any action ever since you had that kid. You should easily be able to get 75 to 100% of the market value of your items, depending on how much in demand they are. Electronics, computers, and phones are the items most in demand. Remember to be smart, and arrange to sell your items on neutral ground (a gas station or business with outside surveillance works good) to lessen the chance of being scammed or robbed.
2. Enter some online sweepstakes
You probably won’t believe me when I say this, but I have won a cumulative amount of 20 contests just in the past year, winning items that are, all together, worth well into the thousands of dollars. I have won things like electric guitars, VISA gift cards, flat screen TV’s, tools, clothes, shoes, and autographed celebrity merch. The beauty of this is that anything that you win that is worth less than a certain amount (check your state tax rules to be sure), will not be taxed at the end of the year. And if you are feeling particularly ambitious, then take your winning items and sell them on Craigslist! See, there is a method to the madness.
Take that smartphone of yours, and go to a sweepstakes website aggregator such as Sweeps Advantage. Bookmark every sweepstakes that you enter, if they are daily ones where you can enter each day. Just look at it as a type of game, except for the fact that these “games” have much higher potential payoffs than that slot machine game you downloaded off of Google Play.
3. Get creative
There are countless ways to make money, some easier than others. If you live in the hood, chances are that you will have a plasma center close by. Now, me personally, I refuse to go to one ever since the machine I was hooked up to malfunctioned and took my plasma AND my blood…but hey, that was 15 years ago, I’m sure the science of taking poor people’s plasma has improved exponentially since then.
If you live in a decently sized city with a downtown area, then go down there and busk. There are homeless people right now making more for busking than most of the working stiffs are making for their dreary 9 to 5 job. Ironic? Hell yeah! And if you have absolutely no entertainment talent whatsoever, then you can simply hold a cardboard sign up and stand on a freeway off ramp. It must work, because every time I get off the freeway, I see at least one person out there begging for money…
Do you have any other ideas? If so, comment below. Good luck, and happy hustling!